(Some background book research I'm doing for my current 'in progress' novel)
MEMOIRS OF OKLAHOMA
By Kittie M. Harvey
-Mrs. Harvey now lives with her son, Dr. Fred E. Harvey and wife in Manitou Springs, C1olorado.
-She celebrated her ninety-sixth birthday on January 12, 1956.
-While she was in her twenties, she was plunged into frontier life.
"I was born on January 12, 1860...
We had no lawn mower but the boys with a sickle, and even scissors, kept the large lawn looking like moss...
Father once took us to see Barnum's circus in Indianapolis (not the town in Custer County, OK), the largest in the country.
I enjoyed seeing Tom Thumb (the dwarf) and the animals but went home a wreck after watching the acrobatic acts.
Said then I would never go to another circus and never did.
I never enjoyed watching anything where life was in danger."
The details of memoirs like this one, and especially my dear aunt's, secure many fine points necessary to create a family generation based foundation one can use for narratives, recollections, stories from the past, etc.
And... sometimes you find facts unavailable anywhere else.
Indianapolis was a small town in Custer County.
The Great Depression slowly dismantled the town’s spirit and resources and people move away.
Nothing much remains except what’s left of an old grain elevator and a few old dwellings.
General Tom Thumb - aka: Charles Sherwood Stratton: The cause of his extreme shortness was and still is unknown. X-rays were not discovered until 1895, 12 years after Stratton's death, and the medical techniques of the day were unable to ascertain the pathology underlying his dwarfism.
Later in life after her husband had passed away Kittie wrote:
"I had decided to go back to Minneapolis, Kansas... When we left I suppose we knew everybody in Chandler and many in Oklahoma City, and had many intimate friends. Now I don't suppose there is one who would remember me."